One of the most fascinating aspects to Multiple Myeloma is people like me. I am one in a breed of people that somehow feels that the world simply can’t get along without our opinions and observations. When I perish, I am certain the world will stop with such immediacy as to throw most of it’s population into space. However, I am equally certain that moderation is a good thing for people to employ; I believe that self-regulation is one of the most important human positives. I try to keep my vast array of opinions and comments on my own turf as a function of that moderation. I have been driven off of other forums by the tedium of members who can’t leave any posting alone. Their long winded demonstrations of expertise (or lack of it) are so porcine as to eclipse other postings. This, of course, causes other posters to back away from their own contribution to conversations as the forum becomes the uber-poster’s private soapbox.
I understand that my “Hey! Everybody look at me!” nature can have a toxic effect if I let it run rampant all over the Multiple Myeloma playground. I want to encourage discussions and idea sharing, so I try to keep the vast majority of my contributions in my own territory where people can stop by to sample my ideas, rather than be inundated by them everywhere. I also recognize where my intellectual strengths are when it comes to the cancer I experience, and even here in Deludia-land I try to stay within their boundaries. To put it simply, no one likes a know it all.
I just discontinued my mailings from a website I find to be a Myeloma keystone because their digests had taken on the qualities of SPAM. One single individual appeared so often and verbosely that the best quality of the forum, diversity, had been lost to a single prolific poster. Neither a physician nor even a seasoned patient, they appeared so many times that the site mailings fell into the same group I assign to viagra ads, Nigerian money transfers, and notices to update my banking information. My final straw with this particular over-poster was their lengthy condemnation of new FDA warnings, which apparently contrasted with their much superior knowledge of all things Multiple Myeloma.
The thing is, I get this person. I tend to swim against the mainstream current at times myself: I don’t believe that treatment is always required just because ones Myeloma is symptomatic. I don’t believe that maintenance treatments should be employed “just because,” but should await refractory evidence. I also find many of the news articles distributed to be ingenuous disinformation based on a profit agenda. These opinions put me at odds with many highly respected physicians and medical publications. But I tend to keep those opinions close to home, promoting my beliefs on my own real-estate. I do post in forums other than my own, but I try to be contributory to the conversation rather than trying to assimilate it with the “Resistance is Futile!” modus operandi of Star Trek’s Borg.
Sadly, it’s not really an option in the high decorum of cancer forums to tell someone to shut the hell up. To do so, even though many would applaud the sentiment, would violate the tenets in which cast we cancer victims as delicate courageous heroes, fragile soldiers battling overwhelming odds in the very name of life itself. (A posture I disagree with vehemently.) No, it is incumbant upon us all to graciously thank posters for their compelling contributions while ratifying the poster’s high value to us all. Our society has rules which are inviolate, and honest but negative appraisal of another’s appeal for attention would trample the most revered of those rules. We are not permitted to hand these people a mirror and suggest they get a room.
Those of us with an overabundance of ego have many opportunities to express ourselves on home ground. I avail myself of many of them; I write this blog, I publish books and stories, and I regale people with my pearls of wisdom in emails and social network streams. We all have tremendous opportunity to hold ourselves up for the adoration we so apparently crave; we don’t need to mark every tree in the park with our scent. It’s wrong to exploit the impunity we are so graciously given to post in communal forums, and I wish it was within etiquette to point it out when someone exceeds the limits of contribution and enters into the realms of the overbearing. Even if it is me that needs curtailing. The more we fail to reign in what is, after all, merely exceptional hubris, the more damage we do to the medium of exchange. It’s important to remember that information is the star of the show and not the individuals contributing it. If you’re a contributing poster use this guide: You find that you have written more than three replies; and, the total volume of your replies for that day exceeds five reasonably succinct paragraphs, it’s time to stop writing. At least in that forum, anyway. Instead retreat to your own personal outlets where you may write to your heart’s content.
Information should be contributed, not inflicted.